Court rejects bid to stop buying of boat

National, Normal

The National, Friday November 8th, 2013


THE National Court has dismissed an application to restrain Huon-Gulf MP Ross Seymour and district administrator Robin Bazinuc from getting a vessel for the district from New Zealand.

Justice Don Sawong refused to grant the restraining order sought by Bau Transport Business Group Inc in the National Court in Lae.

The district is expecting the delivery of the mv Morobe Rainforest from New Zealand.

Sawong said Bau Transport had produced conflicting evidence as to whether it was a company, a business name or an association. 

The confusion raised questions over its legality and whether it had the right to institute the court proceedings.

He questioned whether public funds spent on a boat, plane or helicopter could be claimed by a private enterprise.

Seymour said the district administration and the people were preparing to welcome the boat with a big celebration when it arrived from New Zealand.

He said invitations had gone out to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, National Planning Minister Charles Able, Finance Minister James Marape and Transport Minister Ano Pala to be part of the celebrations.

“The ownership of the boat is not an issue because O’Neill has already endorsed an approval letter to me and the administration to take ownership and management of the boat,” he said. 

“If public money belonging to Huon-Gulf people is spent on a boat, that boat belongs to the people and managed by the district administration,” Seymour said.